Simone Biles Speaks Out For First Time After Olympics Withdrawal
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The 24-year-old retired from the team final in Tokyo earlier this week after her first piece of apparatus, having left the arena straight after her vault.
She returned in her team tracksuit and did not compete in the next rotation on the uneven bars.
It was later announced she would not be taking part in the rest of the team final, with USA Gymnastics citing a 'medical issue' as the reason.
Two days ago, she posted a heart on Twitter, and has since retweeted several supportive posts from fellow gymnasts.
Now Biles has shared a message of her own, writing: "The outpouring love and support I've received has made me realize I'm more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before."
the outpouring love & support I've received has made me realize I'm more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before.
- Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) July 29, 2021
Biles is a four-time Olympic gold medallist after her breakout debut in Rio, and has become one of the most recognisable faces at the games.
On the day before her appearance in the team final, she had shared an uncharacteristically personal message about the pressures she has faced on her journey to the top, as well as being the face of Team USA at these games.
She wrote: "It wasn't an easy day or my best but I got through it.
"I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times.
"I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn't affect me but damn sometimes it's hard hahaha!
"The Olympics is no joke! BUT I'm happy my family was able to be with me virtually.
"They mean the world to me!"
One of the messages that Biles had retweeted this week came from trainer and former gymnast Andrea Orris, writing that Biles had suffered sexual abuse 'throughout her entire childhood'.
Biles released a statement on Twitter back in 2018, saying she was one of the people who had been abused by former USA Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar.
Nassar is currently serving 60 years in federal prison on child pornography charges, and has additionally been sentenced to up to 175 years in Michigan state prison after pleading guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct.
In Orris' post, she said: "We are talking about the same girl who was molested by her team doctor throughout her entire childhood and teenage years."
She added: "That girl has endured more trauma by the age of 24 than most people will ever go through in a lifetime."